Guide to the Records of the Laymen’s Institute of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, New England Region, undated, circa 1951-2005 (bulk 1954-1966)
 
I-477

Processed by Shannon Struble

American Jewish Historical Society, New England Archives

99-101 Newbury St.

Boston, Massachusetts

Phone: (617) 226-1245

Email: reference@ajhsboston.org

URL: http://www.ajhsboston.org

© 2017, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Machine-readable finding aid created by Shannon Struble as MS Word document, February 11, 2017. Finding aid was encoded by Shannon Struble on February 22, 2017. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Laymen’s Institute of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, New England Region
Title: Laymen’s Institute of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, New England Region Records
Dates:Undated, circa 1951-2005 (bulk 1954-1966)
Abstract: The Laymen’s Institute (now known as TheRetreat) is a summer weekend retreat started in 1946 and sponsored by the New England Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. The records include correspondence, speeches, short sermons, programs, ephemera, and cassette recordings of lectures. There is also a scrapbook and framed photo collage.
Languages: The collection is in English and Hebrew.
Quantity: 3 linear feet (1 manuscript box, 2 cassette boxes, 1 OS box)
Identification: I-477
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS Boston, MA
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Historical Note

A page from The Book of Memories, a scrapbook documenting the Laymen's Institute at Camp Tel Noar from 1951 to 1994.

The Laymen’s Institute is a summer weekend retreat sponsored by the New England Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. It began as an idea put forward by Rabbi Morris V. Dembowitz in 1946 and is the first and oldest retreat for Jewish men in the United States. The weekend offers summer amusements, such as biking and sporting, along with opportunities for prayer and learning from scholars in residence, who are often spiritual leaders in New England and/or faculty members at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

The Laymen’s Institute was originally held at Camp Tel Noar in Hampstead, New Hampshire, but it moved to Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts around 2001. In 2012, the Laymen’s Institute was renamed TheRetreat and the programming was updated for a modern audience.

References

Material from the collection.

“About.” New England Region – FJMC. Accessed February 11, 2017. <http://www.nerfjmc.org/theretreatabout>

Baum, Stephen. “TheRetreat: Adults can have fun at camp, too!” The Jewish Advocate, January 30, 2015. Accessed February 11, 2017. <http://www.nerfjmc.org/theretreat/jewishadvocate>

“TheRetreat 2017 – June 8 to 11.” New England Region – FJMC. Accessed February 11, 2017. <http://www.nerfjmc.org/theretreat>

Chronology

1946The Laymen's Institute is founded by Rabbi Morris V. Dembowitz and sponsored by the New England Region of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs.
1958-1961Mervin Gray serves as Chairman of the Laymen's Institute.
Circa 2001The Laymen's Institute moves from Camp Tel Noar to Camp Ramah.
2012The Laymen's Institute is renamed TheRetreat.
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Scope and Content Note

The records of the Laymen’s Institute were partially compiled by Mervin Gray, who was Treasurer of the New England Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs from 1958 to circa 1961 and acted as Chairman of the Laymen’s Institute from 1959 to 1961. The collection contains correspondence from this period related to the latter role, as well as speeches and short sermons delivered by Gray in the 1980s.

Also included is a non-continuous run of programs and ephemera from retreats held between 1954 and 1998 and cassette recordings of speeches and lectures delivered at retreats non-continuously between 1973 and 2005.

A scrapbook titled The Book of Memories and a framed photo collage are housed in an oversized box. The Book of Memories is a folio-sized bound volume containing photographs, newspaper clippings, and correspondence from Laymen’s Institute functions held between 1951 and 1994. The collage is framed behind glass and displays photographs from the 24th annual Laymen’s Institute in 1970.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into one series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

This collection contains audiovisual or electronic media that requires special equipment to access. Please notify reference staff at reference@ajhs.org 24 hours in advance of needing access.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

Kehillath Israel Synagogue (Brookline, MA) Records, undated, 1924-2001

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Boston Evening Branch Records, undated, circa 1982-1994

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Laymen’s Institute of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, New England Region Records; I-477; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

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Acquisition Information

Donated by Richard Grey, 2013. Earlier materials donated by an unknown donor.

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Access Points

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Laymen’s Institute of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, New England Region, undated, circa 1951-2005

English and Hebrew.
Box 1, Folders 1-5. Cassette boxes 2-3. OS box 4.
Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content:

See Collection Scope and Content Note.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
11Correspondenceundated, 1958-1960, 1983, 1988request_box
12Donor Supplied Information1995-2017request_box
13Ephemeraundated, 1955-1956, 1958-1963, 1965, 1987-1989, 1993-1998request_box
14Programs1954-1955, 1957-1959, 1961-1962, 1965-1966, 1989-1990, 1992-1998request_box
15Speeches—Documentsundated, 1989request_box
Box TitleDate
2 Speeches—Cassette Tapes1975-1991
Box TitleDate
3 Speeches—Cassette Tapes1991-2005
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
4 OSPhoto Collage1970request_box
4 OSScrapbookundated, 1951-1994request_box
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